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Removing fender flares

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difflock
Posts: 506

Removing fender flares

Post#1 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:17 pm

Hey folks,

I am in a bit of a silly pickle. Today I tried to remove my fender flares to do a thorough rust inspection on my W460 LWB.

I got remove the 10mm bolts holding them on. The bolt holes are so close to the "lip" of the body panel, that I am unable to fit a relatively thin 10mm socket behind the panel. I've been trying to use a pair of Vise grips to catch the bolt, and was able to successfully get a couple off, but there must be a better way.

How did the PO manage to get these put in place if the bolt is so close to the metal that a tool wont fit? Is there an obvious tool I'm missing?

As always, thanks for the help.

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DesertStar
Posts: 1584

Re: Removing fender flares

Post#2 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:00 pm

I thought those bolts are 7mm or 8mm ? If they are that close to the sheet metal, maybe use a flat edge between bolt and panel to keep the bolt from turning?

difflock
Posts: 506

Re: Removing fender flares

Post#3 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:04 pm

DesertStar wrote:I thought those bolts are 7mm or 8mm ? If they are that close to the sheet metal, maybe use a flat edge between bolt and panel to keep the bolt from turning?


I tried a stubby flat head screw driver for that, had success with one bolt but the other few were spinning. It's a really tight area...

Going to try to think of a better flat edge to use.

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DesertStar
Posts: 1584

Re: Removing fender flares

Post#4 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:07 pm

Its been awhile since I removed.....can you get an open end wrench in there?

difflock
Posts: 506

Re: Removing fender flares

Post#5 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:22 pm

Thinking about it more, a stubby wrench may fit, looks like I'll have to invest in a set.

Thanks for the tip!

Still open to any other quick and dirty solutions others may have!

andyrog
Posts: 52

Re: Removing fender flares

Post#6 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:12 am

I used a pair of needle-nose pliers to get some of these out over the weekend. A royal pain, but I got them out.
1993 500GE
2005 Renntech E500 wagon
1986 911 cabrio
2014 Tesla P85D

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Flanker525
Posts: 1448

Re: Removing fender flares

Post#7 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:45 am

I had to do this twice a few weeks ago and I curse whoever decided to use slot headed bolts on these things. Mine were rusty so I had a bit of trouble narrowing down the right socket size but I do believe mine were 8mm. Yours could be different but yes that lip does get in the way.

The easiest solution I found was to actually just break them off. I could not fit even a stubby screw driver in the flare so I held that end with a pair of locking pliers and the other with a 1/4 inch rachet with a deep 8mm socket. Enough opposite twists on the pliers and the rachet at the same time and eventually they would snap off even if the socket wasn't perfectly aligned. If I was going to remount them I would use my M5 hex head bolts so that you could at least hold one end with an allen key.

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Location: NW Connecticut

2015 ML250
1991 350SDL
Formerly (1982 300GD Cabrio)

difflock
Posts: 506

Re: Removing fender flares

Post#8 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:05 am

Thanks for sharing your experience.

My bolts definitely fit a 10mm socket, so I don't think I'll be able to snap them off by hand. I've though of cutting the bolt with a dremel but don't want to damage the flares.

Waiting for the stubby wrenches to come from Amazon later this week, will report then.

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Flanker525
Posts: 1448

Re: Removing fender flares

Post#9 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:47 am

difflock wrote:Thanks for sharing your experience.

My bolts definitely fit a 10mm socket, so I don't think I'll be able to snap them off by hand. I've though of cutting the bolt with a dremel but don't want to damage the flares.

Waiting for the stubby wrenches to come from Amazon later this week, will report then.


If you use a dremel make sure you have a few extra cutting discs ready to go. I did have to partially cut two out with mine and they ate right through the disc that I had.
Location: NW Connecticut

2015 ML250
1991 350SDL
Formerly (1982 300GD Cabrio)

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